About
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Kids Choir 2000 was a rock and pop choir for young people aged between 6 and 16. It was accompanied by its own rock band, made up of young musicians. Our family founded the choir in 1996. True to its name, it was fresh, forward-looking and fun!

With Mum having advertised Dad's crazy idea in the local press across South East Essex, we turned up to the first rehearsal at The Westerings Primary School. We had recently put together a small rock band of 11-year-olds made up from Dad's pupils, with our family filling the gaps: Dad on rhythm guitar and leading the choir; my brother David, aged 13, on bass; my 16-year-old self on keyboards.

To our amazement, we had close to 100 children turn up to the rehearsal. Even more amazing, given that these singers had no audition, was that it sounded pretty good! All these kids were singing live, playing live and enjoying songs from the likes of the Beatles and Oasis. We were on our way and the rest is history!

To cut that rather long history short, here's a brief summary of what happened next:

Kids Choir 2000 enjoyed 15 years of hard-earned success. At our peak we were playing around 35 gigs a year, recording albums, shooting videos, being on TV and radio and helping numerous charities.

Thousands of children passed through the books, many of them going into show business as grown-ups. We had a wonderfully dedicated team of helpers who looked after the children, a tireless road-crew who managed our ever-growing inventory of equipment and an immense loyal following wherever the choir went.

Equally immense was the workload. Dad and I were constantly teaching, directing, working songs out, writing our own songs, producing recordings and getting to grips with ever-changing technology - all this while taking our turns at being the 'front man' on stage. Mum was the administrator: the nice person on the 'front desk' who wrote letters and spoke on the phone with all the other nice people whose generosity helped to make the whole thing work. She was also our graphic designer and live sound mixing engineer!

For a long time, Kids Choir 2000 was a positive way of life for many young people, their families and indeed our family. There were a few personnel changes over time, most notably my stepmum coming on board in 2006, but the ethos remained the same: ordinary kids doing something extraordinary together! We occasionally worked with celebrities, we played rock stages, we had crowds of thousands singing along, we supported the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - it was unique and frequently crazy!

After 15 fantastic years, the climate had changed: more demands were being placed on children in schools, less families had the time to get involved, less sponsorship was available due to the economic downturn and Dad and myself wanted to give more time to our other projects. Our last show in April 2011 was an emotional but happy farewell and many dear friends we had made across the years came to see us off.

There were so many highlights throughout the life of the choir and so many truly great people involved, that I couldn't begin to list them. Instead, please check out the videos and audio clips along with memories from some of those who were part of Kids Choir 2000.
Videos and Audio Clips
Memories
MEMORIES:

Amy Cooper
Hi all,
Like everyone Kids Choir has been a massive part of my life. It’s mad to think about the amount of gigs and concerts that we have actually done over the years. I was always quite a shy person growing up and needless to say when I finally plucked up the courage to join kids choir knowing I’d have to audition I was a little nervous even though it was only singing happy birthday ha ha! Kid’s choir has certainly developed my own confidence over the years and I think that it has certainly helped me in teaching. When I look back over the years a few things come to mind that make me smile:
• Kc2 discos and the most unlikely couple!
• Germany – After deciding to stay in the youth hostel we began to wonder what we were letting ourselves in for...but surprisingly it was very nice and probably one of the better choices especially when we had a ping pong table outside ha ha endless amounts of fun! lol But on the downside I also remember waking up one morning to a shocking sight of Germans skinny dipping in the freezing cold swimming pool! Maybe not the better choice ha ha
• Carol singing – I used to love Christmas eve singing and then going back for mulled wine and mince pies – these were the times that I really felt festive. I remember the year that Les bought Godfrey with him and we were throwing him about (Godfrey that is- not Les) amongst chatting.
• Adventure Island – I always thought how obscure it was that we used to sing on top of the roof! Always thought it was a bit mad but always a fun day!
• Thorpe Park – I used to love this gig and the fireworks after for some reason I always remember sitting drinking hot chocolate with the Vaughan’s here! Lol don’t know why!?
• Ha ha our first ever gig- Battlesbridge – I looked so smart in my kitted out old school white t shirt, sweatshirt and lovely and very fashionable KC2 hat!! Ha ha I am also very short! I’ve certainly made up for it now!
Well these are just a few of the lots of fun moments I’ve had in KC2. It’s nice looking back at these memories. I know that a lot of hard work and effort has gone in to maintaining Kids choir and I am really happy to be a part of it Thank you all for making it such an enjoyable time!

Amy Cooper


Adam Spiceybeats Spicer
I have 1000's of memories.
Now some of you wont know the story behind some of these but they all stay very fondly in my memory.

Playing on top of the roof at adventure island, southend.

Opening a show at Sweyne on a skateboard and falling over twice.

Steve freaking out when he thought his head mic was a bee chasing him

Recording the music videos was pretty awesome

Getting the new drums for the choir

Me and Bamber dressing up for "hey mickey"

Playing keyboard incredibly badly at thorpe park to "no matter what"

playing infront of 6000 people aged 13 at the lawns was pretty special

All the constant banter within the band

More Monitor!!!

Getting changed in the back of the van at gigs

Wearing an incredibly sun absorbing sergeant peppers suit

Steve moonwalking over laura on the wall at suffolk

FLY GUNS!!!!!

Blackers stacking it in slow motion

The over loud christmas presents just to wind up the chaperones

Bamber and I getting through a box of 50 golden wonders in a day

Eating a wasp in a fosters can

Vicki and Hayley convincing me the cottage was haunted

Getting stuck right at the top of the log flume at Thorpe Park when we were due to start

Almost losing my fingers to frostbite at the Southend high-street gig in December

Wearing a sombrero that came down to my bottom lip

Having Vikki looking after me as I grew up

Forming Black-Ash with fellow choir members

Getting my first teaching job courtesy of Steve's guidance and help

Being taught by Les and Steve how to play the song, not just the drums

Making some amazing friends. Some of which i'm lucky enough to still see.

I may not have even known about kids choir 2000 if it wasn't for one of my best friends Laura Hall telling me about auditions. When I joined I didn't join a choir as such, I joint a family of music enthusiasts. I made some amazing friends and shared a lot of laughs doing something I loved. When it came to musical guidance, you couldn't ask for any one more professional and dedicated than Les and Steve, its scary how much talent is shared between them both. The attention to detail and knowledge of all the parts, harmonies and arrangements was always 100%. Perfectionists and great tutors to myself and all other members of the band. Im pretty sure I wouldn't be earning my way now in what I do without their earlier guidance. I have nothing but good things to say about the choir and wish everyone involved all the best for the future

All the best

Ad Spicer
x


Hannah Harmsworth
I really dunno what to write as my message but x to Steve Les, Gill and Jenny just wanna say thank you for everything you done for the choir just a shame its all coming to an end x i wish you all the best in the future and music wouldn't be as important to me in my life if it wasn't for kids choir 2000 x x much love Hannah


Adam Roberts
Hi everyone, as punctual as ever... not sure I even qualify but tough I'm writing!

My memories of KC2 will be very different from everyone elses. I grew up with Steven from a very young age and Les & Gill were all but a second family, we all remain very close to this day.

I was never part of the performing choir but as many have said, Choirwood and KC2 were a big part of my teenage years. Although never a performer (although came close once) the time I spent helping move gear about, set up equipment, occasionally turn dials wen Gill wasn't looking, and generally being part of the machine that was 'KC2' will always be cherished and a source of many fond memories.

My fondest memories are of Xmas shows with too much tinsel, nearly being dragged on stage with Phil Perry to dance having been busted by Les, dancing in the wings during concert (not in character for either of us I assure you!), 'relaxing' holidays in Suffolk until Anna or Ruth's hairdryer went on AGAIN!, Colchester Zoo where we tried to kidnap Rolf Harris, the 100's or road trips with Steve and Les in the van and so many more I just wouldn't know where to start.

Now 30 and tragically older than most, the Choir(s) that Les, Steve, Gill, Jenny and everyone else nurtured, have been around more than half my life. This truly is the end of an era and one that should be celebrated for the extraordinary efforts that went in to making it what it is. I have no doubt that everyone is more than a little sad to hear that Les and Steve are signing off, Essex won't be the same without KC2!

I'd like to thank each and everyone I knew through my time with the choir for making the memories what they are. However no bigger thanks than that to the family that made it all happen; I feel very lucky to have been part of it all and even luckier to have such treasured friends and memories, thank you!

I'll shut up now...

Ad x

Stephanie Lodge
Have a great time tonight! Sorry I am unable to attend. I will always have very fond memories of KC2, and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends out of it!

Sing loud and and be proud!

Steph x



Tracey Stritten
I realise I'm too late for the book but just wanted to say what a privilege it's been to be involved with the choir for the last year and a half. Lucy and I have had such great fun and made lots of wonderful friends. There's nothing quite like the sound a choir makes and the camaraderie that comes with singing together as a group - almost like a big family! It's also been fantastic to watch such great musicians (how versatile is Steve?!!) and to see how the band has progressed. Wishing you all the best for all future projects - hope to stay in touch, Tracey & Lucy xxx


Meredith Coombes
Kids Choir 2000 has been a massive part of our daughters’ childhoods and it has given them so many opportunities that would have not been possible without KC2. Both Peter and I have been involved in the choir since the beginning and we are very grateful for all the friends we have made. We have so many memories involving the choir; the sausage rolls, the endless cups of tea for Les and Steven, Gill trying to round up children in red sweatshirts at Greenwich who were not members of the choir; the Peter and Gill double act on the mixing desk; with incidents such as the Lucozade bottle and the general giggling fits they used to have. Followed by the Jenny and Peter double act but at least Jenny didn’t have a tendency to hit or kick Peter.
The choir has filled me and the family with so many fond memories Steve falling over the monitors and the snow machine pumping snow over a member of the choirs Grandma’s.
Peter has road crewed and done most of the choir’s concerts, taking holiday from the London Fire Brigade to attend the concerts and attended many of Les and Steve’s school concerts. Peter went to Haltern twice once as the driver on the exploratory trip and then taking the van with Gill on the choirs trip to Haltern, swimming in the canal with every one and the brandy that Gill couldn’t finnish
As a chaperone I have lost count of the number of toilet trips I have taken young choir members on and the amount of children who have the ability to fall asleep on me in front of the speakers during songs like rocking all over the world.
I feel many of us still have very fond memories of Hilda’s amazing cooking when the road crew returned the gear to her house and sitting with her at the Christmas concert with her being so proud of the amazing choir her family had created and the amazing children performing within it.
The choir provide our family with so many amazing memories together surrounded by friends it will be truly missed thank you for 15 memorable years even if I can’t dunk a biscuit in my tea without humming to myself.
Christmas won’t be the same without you

Meredith and Peter Coombes


Tom Blackburn
Secondly, Vikki here goes the entry for the book...

Les, Jenny, Steve & Gill

It's been a long time since we had that very first rehearsal at Westerings 15 years ago! I think it's safe to say I'm probably the only original choir member who's still there, you just can't get rid of me! For 3/4 of my life Kids Choir has been a major influence on everything I've done, it has given me my continued interest in music and has encouraged me to carry on the work the choir has done over the years.

I find it almost impossible to think back over all the gigs we've done, and there are lots of funny moments, Les' unstoppable nose bleed, Steve's 'Back In The USSR' opener for the Children of Chernobyl concert!
One thing we can definitely take from the past 15 years is that we all know those cold, wet, snowy, long, hot, stressful days were always worth it and we always had fun doing them, even if the weather was miserable.

It really has been good working with people who are passionate about what they do and are willing to go that little bit further to put on a good show. Despite being called a choir, since the offset it has always been like a little family, and I'm glad we will get to continue working together with the summer/winter tours.

Thank you for all your work over the years, and I will see you again very soon!

Tom x


Heather Mills
I remember miming rhubarb and custard once because I hadn't learnt the words to a song and someone told me people wouldn't notice if I mimed rhubarb and custard! I also remember Les often saying someones groaning (sorry if it was me hehe) I really enjoyed carol singing around Hockley and making the albums.


Jen Viccars
I spent over 10 years in Kids Choir 2000 - from aged 8 to when I was 18 and could drive myself to rehearsals and gigs!
My favourite memories are:
- An early Priory Park concert when performing Radio Gaga first time around and seeing 6000 people in front of me doing the arm/clap action along with us. I think I was about 11 years old.
- The first time I sang solo with a mic at Christmas in Brentwood High Street. I was 9 and felt on top of the world when the only voice I could hear was mine.
- Singing after the Goldrush solo aged 13/14 covering for someone at Thorpe Park watching the sun set.
- Opening Concert in the Park some years later with the National Anthem on electric guitar with Ben in the way that Bryan May had at the Queen's Silver Jubilee concert just 6 days earlier. Amazing.
- Freeride guitar solo, absolutely loved it.
- Duetting with my sister at Christmas in replicating the new Band Aid 20 version.
- My last KC2 gig at Gloucester Park where I cried all the way through the We Will Rock You end solo.

KC2 defined my growing up, and provided me and my family with some amazing experiences, memories and friends. I missed about 5 gigs in my entire time and learnt so much about music which I transferred into my more formal music studies at the RSM.

Wishing Les, Steve and Jenny every happiness always xxxxx Jen


Kieran Ballinger
KC2 has not only been great fun over the past years, it has also given me, and I'm sure plenty of others, the confidence to go and perform! Without KC2, I'd still be a nervous mess before every gig! I'll never forget my first rehearsal where I first met Jon Fairman, and we stood on the stage making complete idiots out of ourselves dancing to Laura- Scissor Sisters. We have been close friends ever since! Thank you to Steve and Jenny for all the time and effort they have put in over the years, but special thanks to Les who has taught me pretty much everything I know on guitar!

Wishing you all the best in the future,
Kieran Ballinger
xx


Charleigh Mcevoy
Well, I dont really know what to say..
I started coming to kids choir when I was 3, I remember knowing all the words+actions to every song cause of dan going. I'll never forget standing at the front with a couple of others when I was tiny with blow up guitars+sunglasses for 'smoke on the water'. I've made some very close friends there and hope I will stay in touch with them for a long time.

Thank you Les, Steve & Jenny.

Charleigh
xxxx


Niamh Ballinger
Wow! To think that I've been part of KC2 for practically half of my life, and it has played a major part in my life too. I have gained so much confidence over the past few years, both on stage performing and meeting new people, all with the help of choir! I would never have played the keyboard if it wasn't for KC2, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity of playing it. The amount of skill I have gained from the choir is amazing, and all with the help of Steve, Jenny, and especially Les, who I have known since I was tiny! I wouldn't be where I am now without you Les, thank you so much!
Niamh xx


Anna Greaves
Ok, well, I’m probably one of the oldest on here and a lot of you probably won’t remember me! But here are my memories. Les asked Ruth and I to help him with the start of Kids Choir 2000 in 1996. We were at the first ever rehearsal helping to shuffle a whole bunch of nervous kids around into rows and some sort of ‘do you sing high or do you sing low’ order! I think one of the first songs we taught was back in the USSR (but Ruth will probably tell me I’m wrong on this one, I have a head like a sieve and she never forgets a thing!). What a buzz we got from the first rehearsal, I think we spoke about very little else from there on after and Kids Choir 2000 quite literally was our lives for many years to follow.
Some memories of early gigs, blimey, how about the Dorchester gig for RSG? Anyone remember that? Standing on the steps at the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich singing our hearts out. Thorpe Park the first time round and the momentous “Anna’s wearing her glasses today everyone, have you noticed” (Yup, thanks Les, I was trying not to draw attention to my NHS beige specs!). The first ever Greensward Christmas gig and the epic tidying of the drama studio afterwards – my did we trash that room! The gig we did at Brentwood which I think was some sort of Fireworks Spectacular, when we sang the tribute to Princess Diana in front of thousands of people (I always tell people that it was 20 thousand plus at that gig but I suspect I may be exaggerating slightly there!) holds a particularly special place in my heart. Traipsing around the Betts Farm estate in Hockley with the most awful flu singing Christmas Carols on a freezing cold December night and mulled wine at the Community Centre afterwards. If you were there in the early days I have most probably bossed you into a line or “ssshhhd you up” at some stage. I may also have been responsible for draping you in tinsel or shouting at you if you weren’t swaying in time to the music! Sorry about that!
Some of the funnier memories I have, hmmm, Tom literally falling off the back bench on stage at one of the Christmas gigs and me actually being cross at him for it – sorry Tom! Ruth forgetting her words and covering with the totally obvious singing of the word rhubarb over and over again because she was convinced that no-one would notice. Pulling faces at Les during key moments in a song and getting him giggling so he couldn’t play the guitar. These are probably all “you had to be there moments” but they still make me smile all these years on.
For me, the choir was a hugely important part of life right through my senior school years and into my early college days too. I have so many fond memories of the things we did not only as a choir but also as a group of friends. Ruth and I have laughed so much over the years with Les and the guys and we had great fun on the holidays in Suffolk too – them with their bikes and me with my pink ‘bedstead.’
So, “thanks guys” thanks for all the laughs, all the jokes and all the singing. Ruth and I have always been hugely proud of helping to start something that has gone from strength to strength over the years.
It’s clear from reading everyone’s comments on here that its played a massive role in so many people’s lives. I miss it still you know.
Love always
Anna (Mennell)
P.S I still ‘roll my shoulders, roll my shoulders’ whenever I hear Mama Mia……still!


Josie Theasby
It's a bit serious and very sentimental but I guess that's what I get for doing a Creative Writing degree. :P
I've finally come up with this:

People say that the greatest things happen to you while you're busy doing something else. I could recount the entire eight(ish) years that I spent in KC2 in detail and I would go on for pages and pages until everyone was bored stiff. I won't do that though. All I'll say is that joining in 2000 was one of the best things I have ever done and I am still learning valuable lessons from it. Christmas is now as synonymous with trees and presents as it is with cold feet, light-up felt Santa hats, scratchy tinsel on the backs of our necks and all the lyrics that I don't have space to quote here. I hear a song on the radio sometimes and it stops me dead as I fill up with memories. It is while I was passing quietly through my years as part of the choir- from somewhere in the middle to proudly at the back (and sometimes dancing at the front!)- that the greatest things happened to me. I am almost tearful knowing that I won't be able to attend the final gig, but the most wonderful thing about Les, and about everyone involved in the choir, is that they understood when members had to move on and move away. I have huge amounts of respect for those who maintained something that figured so massively in so many people's lives and I wish everyone involved in the choir all the best for their futures.
Thank you for everything, Josie Theasby. xxx


Beccii Cottis
I dont know if its to late for messages now but here goes.

KC2-my entire childhood. Took up a wonderful 9 years of my life. I'll never forget my first gig at Thorpe Park. I was on Cloud nine :) And my first solo singing Band Aid.
I seriously cannot believe its ending. Steve, Les and Jenny (and the rest of the crew) have done such an amazing job and helped many children realise their love of performing. Without Kids Choir 2000, I would not be the person I am today.
Remember when I broke the light on the last rehearsal at Westerings? haha.
I love you all dearly and the memories we've shared.
I hope we can all keep in contact.
All my love, Rebecca Cottis (Hurrell)
Occasionally known as the Huzzer by Les :S
xxx


Charlotte Tribe
been at KC2 for 10 years now, enjoyed every single second of will miss it so much!
The people I have met will stay friends for a long time I hope and I will never forget the memories, its so strange now being one of the older ones is so strange now as I remember the days of looking up to all the older people when I was younger and being looked after and following them around, now that's me one of the older ones! I think there's just way too many memories to list!
But I remember having 2 gigs on my birthday one year, and being sung happy birthday to both times:)
All the brilliant gigs in the summer, the christmas concerts - so much to remember :)
so sad to see it all end, the memories will never be forgotten,
A huge thank you to Les, Jenny, Steve and Gill for all the hard work over the years!
Lots Of Love
Charlotte
xxxx


Clare Cooper
This is going to be long but here we go:
I first auditioned at The Anchor Pub in Hullbridge and was a member for about 5years. I was in Year 9 when I attended my first rehearsal and it was the day before Year 9 SATs. We learnt “Radio Ga Ga” at XRG and I had this in my head all throughout my exams the next day! Anyway here are some of the moments that made KC2 special:
• The Titfords. All of them were so dedicated and passionate about the choir which is was why it was a success. I first met Les aged 7 back in primary school and he taught me the guitar there. I then had private lessons with him until I was around 21 and even helped him teach the guitar in school.
• XRG! Every Wednesday evening at the Hockley Community Centre. These sessions mainly consisted of Les and Steve’s gopher impressions (“it’s not in the book...ahhhh!”), being allowed to stand on the chairs to sing, having to remember to bring 50p and watching people mess around on the zip line. The room also had lovely green walls and really awful curtains that still came out in the “In a Thousand Years” video despite the smoke.
• Friday night rehearsals at the Westerings School.
• Having our own little language e.g. “KC2, XRG, gig, Ambulance track etc”.
• The songs we used to sing. There was always something for everyone. The likes of “Radio Ga Ga”,” Video killed the radio Star”,” Summer of 69”, “Deep Purple” etc were all very cool. But nothing could surpass the following numbers; “Dunking Biscuits”, “Bob the Builder”, “Nellie the Elephant”, “A Kangaroo at Christmas”, “Ghostbusters” and “Puppet on a String!”
• The places we performed; Thorpe Park (“Everyone on Detonator sing...!”), Priory Park, school fetes, Christmas lights etc. I always remember the time we were all backstage at Mill Hall and there was a very strange act on before us (think Abba and Michael Jackson conducted by a lady who thought she was Jane McDonald, who Steve met in later years and had the cheek to say we shouted!).
• The “special” moment in the gigs where Les would sing (“Any Dream will do”, “Saviours Day”, “Lift me Up”,” Dead Skunk” and “Achy Breaky Heart” just to name a few!).
• Les’s choreography of some of the actions “Right everyone, I have been practising these actions in the mirror, it goes like this...(think “Let’s Hang On”).
• Getting sunburnt at gigs when it wasn’t even sunny! Then getting laughed at the next day.
• The end of term summer discos.
• “Tuck your T-Shirts in!” I say no more.
• “Pictures of Matchstick men” and the UV lights. Having to remember the correct order to take the mask off in.
• Recording Sessions and Steve teaching everyone the “one ear on, one ear off technique” with the headphones.
• Going to Germany and singing “Dunking Biscuits” around a phone box in the beer garden. Singing on the ferry (“We are sailing”) and getting requests shouted at us. Chris Bamber singing “Teenage Dirtbag” and being a hit with the Germans! LOL
• Christmas Eve at the Hockley Community Centre. Every year we would go round singing carols (mainly “Deck the Halls” and our special little version of “Ruldolph”). Someone always had to be the music stand. Then it was back for Wine and sausage rolls and a round of “Catch Godfrey”,(Les’s toy giraffe) whilst listening to Cliff Richard.
• Learning “Days” in Les’s living room. Some people chose to interpret the song title differently (Kirsten Vaughn!). I remember a group of us trying to stop giggling each time we sang it.

I have learnt a lot through my time in the choir and it has helped me in my job role as Music Leader in my Primary School I work at. Kids Choir 2000 was a positive time in my life and I made a lot of good friends who I still talk to today. It will be sadly missed so thank you for all the opportunities.
Clare Cooper x


Kat Allen
Kids Choir 2000 has been my life for the past 5 years and i have enjoyed all of it. I have made so many friends and had so many laughs with all you guys, i couldnt have asked for a better way to get myself involved in the one thing i love the most which is music and singing. I have so many memories that will stay with me forever, espically the gig you held to raise money for me to go to Morocco in 2009 that helped out so much and i am so greatful, I can not believe i am one of the oldest in the choir seeing people grow up has been a laugh, all the laughs jokes and coments you throw at me on a friday at rehursals, about my height, about my voice, when i was on crutches, i will never forget them. Thankyou for all the enjoyment you have given me over theses last 5 years its been brilliant, going to miss it a lot! Would like to keep in contact even if it is just over facebook :)
Lots of love always
Kat xxx


Nicola Eisenhauer
Dear Les, Jenny, Gill and Steve,

I hope this message finds you all well – it feels like a forever since I last saw you in person! As you all know, I joined KC2 back in ’96, shortly after the choir formed and like so many other members, it really did define my childhood. I can remember my very first gig, standing on the front row at the Southend bandstand like it was yesterday. I had no idea what the words to some of the songs were but I didn’t care – I was on cloud nine and completely hooked! Where other after-school activities came and went, Kids Choir remained at the forefront of my hobbies as I worked my way to the aspired ‘back row’!
It’s been surprisingly difficult to pick out ‘favourite memories’ from something where every minute of my time was special for one reason or another! Having said that, I have managed to narrow it down to a select few!
• Performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lawns and singing “Footballs Coming Home” infront of a sea of England flags, while my dad ran around with a homemade Argentina flag who we were playing against! I was absolutely mortified! And to make matters worse he got ‘papped’ by the Evening Echo and appeared in the Monday paper! Well done dad....
• The Brentwood Centre Christmas gig. Christmas was always my favourite time of the year in the choir but this gig in particular. We used to have to get ready for it straight from school (don’t forget your packed tea!) and then get on the coach to take us up there.
• XRG. I felt so elite to be part of the special small group rehearsals!
• Making the videos for “In a Thousand Years” and “We’re Having Fun at Christmas”
• Recording all our albums, including my solo of “A Trick of a Tail”. I’ve even got them all on my ipod!
• Performing in the bier garten in Germany where we sang “Dunkin’ biscuits” which the Germans thought was a “traditional tea drinking song from England”! Hilarious! The trip to Haltern was probably the pinnacle of my time in the choir. How could you get any better than going on holiday with all your friends and their families?!
When I tell people that I used to be part of a choir, they automatically think of a traditional church ensemble and look at me as if I’m mad when I correct them! I don’t think anyone other than those who were part of the choir will ever understand just how much it meant to us all and how much fun we had.
Thank you so much for 9 very happy and special years in my life. I feel genuinely privileged to have been part of something that has proven so influential to so many children, and hope you know how proud I am of the choir and all its achievements.
Wishing you all the best for the future and with lots of love
Nic E


Steph Hatfield
Hi, hope you’re all well. I’ll keep it brief, but here are a few of my favourite things I remember from my time in Kids Choir:
• The trip to Germany – what a laugh, especially when Dunking Biscuits was described as ‘a traditional English tea drinking song’ – hilarious
• Actions learned at Kids Choir which I and many other KC2 ex-members do at parties, and which non-KC2 people will never understand (Build me up Buttercup, Livin’ On A Prayer and Man I Feel Like A Woman to name a few)
• How many long ‘Oh’s to finish off songs like ‘You’re The Voice’
• The huge Priory Park gigs – great atmosphere
• The Christmas gigs – oh the tinsel, Santa hats and glitter (not to mention the kangaroo costume getting an outing)!
• Covering the spoken intro bit for War of The Worlds
To finish off – Les and everyone who started and continued to run KC2, to quote a song we used to sing, “thank you for the days” :) and also for your effort and dedication to building something which has changed so many people’s lives. I’m proud to have been a part of it. All the best!
Steph H x


Lizzy Coombes
god i just realised how much i wrote guess it just shows how big a part of my life it has been

When looking back at my time with the choir it is hard to imagine how to sum up 15 out of the 20 years of my life. The choir has been there as long as I can remember one of my oldest memories was being stood with Ruth at Greenwich. Throughout the past 15 years I have pretty much done it all; sung, danced, done road crew and chaperoned and have fond memories of them all. When trying to think of my favourite memory it is difficult as how do you compare singing in front of thousands with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with meeting Rolf Harris though to wearing that “lovely” blue cat suite for dancing queen with persuading someone to take me on the rides with them at Thorpe park because I was to small and everyone winding me when ‘no way out’ opened telling me it was the best ride in the world and only informing me it wasn’t the day I was tall enough to go on to it. Looking back it seems hard to imagine how much I have changed while being part of the choir and how much everyone who has been involved with the choir has been a part of that from when I started and had to wear a small adults jumper that came down to the floor to the person who started to help with road crew in the only spare road crew t-shirt that was left which was an XL, final 15 years on I have a t-shirt that nearly fits. I could go on for days talking about the impact choir has had on my life the friends I have made from being part of it, I still remember sitting at Hilda’s at the end of the day talking to her while all the gear was being stored away while she used to make what seemed to feel like 100 cups of tea for everyone with the 1000 biscuits that went with it and the amazing cakes she would make. Every so often when I’m in Essex I will be talking to someone who will have seen the choir perform or been part of it, it’s weird to think when looking back at the early days at Westerings the impact the choir would have within Essex. The skills I have learnt with the choir have enabled me to achieve many great things. I’m sure without choir I would of never had the confidence to present conferences and address the entire UK youth parliament on my own at just 16 although the amount I gained from choir I feel I will never be able to alliterate without writing a book. The choir really has become a way of life within our family and everyone in it like a member of our family. I would really like to thank to Les, Gill Steve and Jenny for being such a big part of my life and especially Les you have been such a massive influence in my life from those early days where I didn’t come up to your hip through to today. Without you I feel that I may never of have the confidence to achieve many of the things I have done in my life and would never of made it to university as you were the first person to allow me to see how by allowing people of all different walks of life working together how much can be achieved when ignoring their difference and exploring the similarities between us. For this I am, and always will be truly grateful. Christmas will never be the same again without the choir concerts and songs like don’t wait until Christmas and we’re having fun at Christmas I’m sure the CD’s will be played every year now instead.
I will always be grateful and will never forget the impact it has and always will have on my life
Lizzy Coombes


Amy Chapman
Hi all,
When I think about my school years there doesn’t seem to be a part where KC2 didn’t feature heavily. I remember my very nervous audition and first gig, but everyone was all so welcoming that nerves soon dissolved and the choir and everyone in it became an important part of life. I have so many great memories and experiences which have helped to shape who I am now. The few highlights which stand out for me are:
• The Haltern tour, going abroad with the choir and having such a laugh, especially seeing Dunking Biscuits making it into the local paper as a traditional English song!
• The endless Greensward concerts, as they gradually got more sophisticated over the years
• The Christmas concerts at the Brentwood Centre, they were the sign that the Christmas season was well and truly underway
• The rehearsals on Fridays and the smaller XRG which was a great way of catching up with friends and making new ones, as well as learning all those songs
• Actions! There were so many, and some so bizarre but they will never be forgotten
• Album recording sessions, they were such a slog at times but were also great fun and I’m proud to have them all
In general I just want to thank you all for such a fantastic experience, it truly was unique and I feel privileged to have been part of it for so long. I’m not sure that some of my non-choir friends would agree when I hear I choir song come on in a shop and absent-mindedly sing along with the actions! However I think that’s testament to what an impact you all had, and how special the choir was to so many people.
Thank you so much for all you did, and I wish you all the best for the future.
Amy Chapman xxx


Ruth Hedgley
At the risk of being too late here are my KC2 memories.

Anna and I were the first ever members of KC2 which makes me the oldest member (not sure I like the ‘old’ part!) From the ages of 13 to 17 Choirwood workshops, Choirwood and Kids Choir 2000 were a massive part of my life. I learnt to sing properly, perform solo’s, record, made new friends, went on the famous Suffolk holidays, travelled to various locations to gig, met my first proper boyfriend, got drunk, rode my bike and myself into a bush the list goes on and on. Like so many others, my time in the choir was the best time ever.

I was lucky enough and chuffed to bits to be invited back, aged 23, to chaperone. My life with KC2 took on a whole new dimension and the fun continued, I even got to pretend I was 15 and sing on voices of tomorrow! It also changed the course of my life for the better as it gave me the vital experience of working with children that enabled me to train as Primary school teacher.

The opportunities Les, Jenny, Steve and Gill have given kids (and adults!) over the years are quite staggering. Their efforts have shaped and impacted the lives of everyone involved in the choir and I hope they will look back on the years they have dedicated to KC2 and feel very proud.


Vivienne Rowley
I wrote this on Sunday but realised I hadn't posted it!

Huge thanks to all the many people who worked behind the scenes over the years - the road crews & chaperones, refreshments people, ticket & programme sales, merchandising, and all the other ‘little jobs’ that must have needed doing - all so dedicated and professional.

And of course thanks to all the children who sang so beautifully, and their parents.

But in the end it all comes down to one person, without whom there would have been no Kids Choir 2000 - the amazing Mr Titford!! Thanks Les. x


Dave Spicer
Great gig last Saturday, well done to all the choir and the crew. The only thing missing was the sausage rolls!!
Over the years lots of kids have learnt about music, singing and performing. They have enjoyed gigging at some fantastic events. Some have gone on to make music a career in one form or another. I know Adam owes a lot to both Les and Steve for all their encouragement while he was playing for them. So on a personal note I would like to Thank them both for all their time and effort they showed him and many others, Cheers guys.
The only thing I miss are the many gigs that I had to drive Adam to. On the way he would sit in the back seat and practice with his drum sticks on the front seat headrests. Which was fine until he missed the headrests and whacked the back of my head and ear!
So an era comes to an end, gone but never forgotten,

Cheers
Skippy


Liam Phillips
Kids choir started my life off in music, thank you :) X